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Internet Retail v. Brick and Mortar

Posted on : 27-05-2009 | By : admin | In : General

Tags: , , ,


Today we went to a bookstore to purchase a book that we needed really quickly. Honestly, had we not been up a creek, we would have ordered it off the internet and waited.

The most interesting experience of all was that when we purchased the book the price was significantly different. The book on the internet was about $39.99 with free shipping and no sales tax. However, when we purchased it from the brick and mortar bookstore we paid just under $60.00.

We mentioned the disparity in price to the nice gentleman who was ringing up the purchase and he inquired further. He offered to order the book from the internet and have it shipped to a location of our choice (home, business, school, etc.) for free and we would get it at the internet price within a week.  We asked if they could just honor the internet price and they apologetically said, “No.”

The store explained that the company has to make up the cost of doing business (essentially the cost of keeping the lights on and paying the help). Because we were up a creek, we cringed, and bought the book.

It is still hard to believe that there is a 50% markup when you buy something from a brick and mortar joint instead of getting it off the Internet.

Now, were not going to sit here and tell you that there going to be no stores in the near future; its simply not realistic. However, what does seem abundantly clear is the fact that the brick and mortar retail industry is going to see some serious contraction over the next few years.

The storefront retailers who don’t get killed in this economic downturn are going to have to face a second wave of destruction as Internet retail expands further into their bottom line.

We’d like to hear what you all have to say because we’re sure we missed some very salient points in this issue.


-NineHats.com Staff